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French, Jacqueline A; Cabrera, Javier; Emir, Birol; Whalen, Ed; Lu, Feihan
"Designing a new proof-of-principle trial for treatment of partial seizures to demonstrate efficacy with minimal sample size and duration-A case study"
Epilepsy research 2013 May; ():643-655
The ideal proof-of-principle study design provides a strong efficacy signal over the shortest duration, while exposing the fewest patients possible. Data from a large database (Pfizer Inc) which studied add-on pregabalin for the treatment of partial seizures was used to model how duration of baseline, post-randomization treatment period, and number of subjects impact the likelihood of an interpretable efficacy signal. Data from four double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, phase III studies that had at least one 600mg/day treatment arm were combined. The common 6-week baseline period was divided into weekly intervals, as was the 12-week post-randomization period. Two methods of analysis were used: logistic regression performed on 50% responder rate and the Hodges-Lehmann estimate on percentage reduction from baseline seizure rate. A simulation-based re-sampling approach was used to determine sufficient sample size. Four weeks of baseline with 3 weeks of treatment were determined to be clinically and statistically sufficient. A reasonable sample size was estimated to be 40-50 patients per group, if a highly efficacious drug was used. These modeling results indicate that the efficacy of an antiepileptic drug can be demonstrated in a relatively short period of time with a reasonable sample size.

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